In 1993, European implantologist, Dr. Paulo Malo, innovated a technique for the placement of tooth implants that would go on to revolutionize the modern dentist’s approach to treating patients suffering from rampant tooth loss and edentulism (not having a single original adult tooth left). The technique is known as the ‘All on Four’ and offers an incredible number of advantages over traditional dental implant protocol. With a journey to oral rehabilitation that, in most cases, only requires a single surgery and with patients able to save tens of thousands of dollars on getting a brand new set of teeth, it’s no wonder that All on Four tooth implants are being heralded as a breakthrough in modern dental science. In this article, we shall investigate the many benefits and advantages the All on Four protocol has over traditional dental implant techniques.
As the Name Suggests: Only Four Dental Implants
Prior to the conception of All on Four tooth implants, patients that required a new set of teeth were looking at having as many as 10 implants surgically placed per jaw! That’s 20 in total for oral rehabilitation of both the upper and lower jaw. This not only costs patients an exorbitant amount of money (considering that each implant costs in the region of $3,500 to $4,000), but it also necessitates multiple placement surgeries. As a result, patients are looking at spending up to 18 months in and out of surgery and in and out of recovery. The associated costs of all the consultations, surgeries and time off from work also add up, thus making oral rehabilitation with traditional dental implant techniques an option that only a minority can afford.
The All on Four protocol, as the name suggests, only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized prosthetic dental bridge. And a total of eight implants for both jaws can quite easily be placed in a single surgery, in a single day. With only eight implants and a single surgery required for patients to get a brand new set of immediately functional and non-removable teeth, the All on Four saves patients tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention all the pain, discomfort and inconveniences associated with multiple surgeries.
The All on Four Protocol: Avoiding Bone Grafting Surgery
Another tremendous benefit afforded by the All on Four protocol is its ability to almost always bypass the need for bone grafting; a surgery frequently required for patients that present with a substantial loss of bone volume in the jaw. This is as a result of tooth loss that has gone untreated for too long; the roots of the teeth essentially keep the underlying bone tissue stimulated and alive. When this stimulation is lost, the jaw bone can atrophy and waste away, resulting in that aged and puckered oral appearance we typically associate with elderly denture-wearers. This loss of bone volume can also compromise the success of dental implants, which is why traditional protocol frequently requires bone grafting surgery first. However, the precise placement and angulation of All on Four dental implants allows qualified and experienced oral surgeons to complete the entire procedure in a single day, almost always without the need for bone grafting; an unprecedented feat in modern dentistry.